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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

In the Spotlight: Ksenia Sobchak

This week, Afisha listings magazine relaxed its hipster sensibilities and put It Girl Ksenia Sobchak on the cover of what it called its “money issue.”

A prolific author, columnist and television host, Sobchak has made a career out of playing up to her image as a spoiled little rich girl. She talked to Afisha for an issue that was about the cost of entertainment in Russia, from computer games to Madonna concerts and Zenit footballers.

Rather meanly, Afisha printed her earnings on the cover: $30,214 for hosting a corporate party, $100,000 per book (she has published three so far: two style guides and a manual on how to marry a millionaire), plus $400,000 per year for her television work. That’s not the kind of money to impress your average aluminum or fertilizer magnate, but it’s not bad for a 28-year-old.

It’s unclear how rich she really is, as the daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, a popular St. Petersburg politician and one-time mentor of Vladimir Putin who died in 2000, and Federation Council senator Lyudmila Narusova.

Her television work includes her own reality show, “The Blonde in Chocolate,” which follows her hectic schedule of ghastly-looking corporate events and photo shoots, punctuated by her eye-wateringly rude comments to shop assistants and cringing stylists.

This week, the show filmed her working as a compere at a wedding in Kiev of a couple whom she had never even met before. “And now the couple will have their first dance as man and wife,” she shouted enthusiastically, wearing a pink tasseled dress. She later ventured into a local boutique, which she loudly described as “smelly” and a “Chinese market.”

Until recently, she hosted the trashy “win a house by falling in love” reality show “Dom-2,” which is generally considered the nadir of Russian television by critics, although it has plenty of secret fans, even among Afisha readers.

Sobchak posed in bling gold jewelry and sparkly high heels for Afisha and talked frankly about why she likes men to spend money on her.

She gets a lot of flak for swearing a blue streak on her show — even though it’s beeped out — and for flashing plenty of bare flesh. But she didn’t come across as much of a rebel in the interview.

More likely, she simply lives in a world where being rude to the little people and swearing like a sailor is the norm — rather like certain members of the British upper classes.

She explained her taste for the kind of shiny, ludicrously expensive watch flashed by oligarchs and city officials, saying she is a sucker for whatever the other rich people want, even though she uses her cell phone to tell the time.

“I like to play a game, study the rules and win,” she said. “If I have a watch, it has to be the best one that exists.”

She takes a similar approach to romance. Men can try to impress her with tear-stained love poetry, she said, but “what I want to know is, will he invite me to Graff [jewelry store], or not? That explains everything.”

What’s important is not the jewelry itself, but finding out whether the man is prepared to make a grand gesture with his hard-earned cash, she said.

“The best thing is when you push someone to do it,” she said. “Even an oligarch might tell you: “Listen, I psychologically can’t buy something that costs more than a certain amount.”

She herself has some way to go on this path to spiritual freedom, she said. “I’m not sure that I can overcome myself and buy a bottle of wine for $30,000. Especially since I don’t like wine.”